Summary: My landlord was looking for a way to get an edge on the competition for our small apartment complex. I suggested wireless broadband. Various wacky hijinks ensue, and in the end, no one goes to jail. Or they wouldn’t have, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids and that darned dog! (Well, ok, OK, maybe it’s less exciting than the average Scooby Doo episode, but it’s interesting nonetheless).
This is a bit long, so I’ll dump it off to another page. Enjoy!
“You have any ideas to help me fill these apartments up?”
That’s how it started. My landlord is an entrepreneur and I’d already done one website for one of his companies and we’d just agreed to do one for my apartment complex as well. After brainstorming about content for the website, he said that one of his primary reasons for wanting a redesign was that he had 5 empty units out of only 48 available in the 4 building complex, and competition is tight. He wanted to fill them up and keep them filled. He was soliciting more ideas.
Now, one of the main reasons I moved into this place was that it had cable internet available when all you could get at any of the other places in town was dialup or a share of a single T1 split between 250+ units for more than the cost of cable. So I offered what would, given that the population of the complex is primarily retired people not quite ready for the nursing home, seem an odd suggestion. Give everyone free broadband and email on the apartments domain (free advertising!).
Of course, with comcast running $60+ a month after taxes, giving everyone their own comcast account wasn’t an option, and with 4 very solid brick buildings, running ethernet would have been an expensive option. So why not WiFi?
The landlord, having once run his own ISP and having been a wireless user in some fashion since way before 802.11b came around, jumped on the idea, and a concept was born.
But how to implement this idea? It took some doing.